Tshilidzi Ratshitanga (Chairperson) 02 NOVEMBER 2009, VENTERSBURG

Ladies and gentlemen I bring you warm fraternal greetings from the trustees of Bokamoso. The hour has come for us to pause. We must halt and remember their dedication, truthfulness and honour. They are the giant cadres of a bygone time whose beloved organisation you have inherited. You cannot fault if you walk along the path of their revolutionary perspectives.

Arise the spirit of Wanga Sigila, Selborne Mabunda, Kgomotso Masebelanga, Teacher Vanga. Salute the heroism of Thami Rubusana, Siphiwe Zuma, Gorbachev Mojapelo, KK Papiyanga, Nkuli Mahomane, Thando Bulembu, Claude Qavane and Kgomoco Mogoere.

Their departure reminds just how crucial time is. By their passing we have learnt never to waste a moment of our revolution. When their beings surrendered they went on to join the galaxy of esteemed leaders.

Long live the wisdom of Oliver Tambo Long Live
Long live the values of Walter Sisulu Long Live
Long live the dialectics of Max and Engels Long live
Long live the convictions of Chris Thembisile Hani Long Live
Long live the ideals of Enersto Che Guevara Long Live

Fellow comrades, a true revolutionary is guided by genuine feelings of love. The love of her people, of justice and truth. The love of the revolution, the fight against oppression, poverty and senseless wars that destroy the fabric of our humanity. The love of the self, preservation of one’s dignity against the odds and temptations that threaten long life and healthy bodies. Remember these ideals in your journey as you lead a people to it destiny.

Bokamoso wishes you successful deliberations, whose outcomes we hope will touch the lives of generations not yet born. We hope that you will conduct your discussions with tolerance, for as tertiary students the one great advantage you should posses is the training to respect and accord time to the views of others. We also wish that you will reflect upon the world and national balance of forces because the contradictions that you seek to resolve about student lives are just manifestation of a greater world outlook. To understand them fully you ought to investigate what is happening outside of campuses. The student is an embodiment of society, is influenced by it and must contribute towards its development.
As an organised formation of tertiary students, Sasco has the advantage of intellectual resources. It is by no accident therefore that you are a component of the progressive forces of the Congress Movement. The Movement expects Sasco to provide intellectual oomph to discourse that seeks to chart the way forward. Do not disappoint therefore comrades; you have a great responsibility not to lead astray.

For those who may not be aware Bokamoso Barona Investment Trust is a business trust that was formed by Sasco, Cosas and Saspu. It seeks to generate financial sustainability for these organisations at a time when it is tough for the student movement to survive financially. As trustees who have direct experience of these challenges, having been members of Sasco, Cosas and Saspu ourselves, we are doing our best to advance your mandate. We understand the enormity of our task because the revolution should never cease because of financial challenges.

Bokamoso has also adopted three programmes that are beneficial to Sasco. These are the National Student Leadership Academy, formed in partnership with the University of Johannesburg; the youth Research Institute, in partnership with Statistics South Africa and the Scholarship Fund, for which we are still seeking partners. Of the three founding organisations of Bokamoso Sasco has been participating meaningfully to these programmes, shaping their orientation at inception and actually getting involved in their activities. We encourage you to continue supporting these programmes as they have a direct bearing on your work.

Just last week we participated in initial discussions at the consultative conference of Saspu, which was organised by former Saspu leaders to revive this important component of progressive student formations. Saspu collapsed a few years ago and there is no better organisation that can assist to resurrect it than Sasco. As you are both meant to organise at tertiary level and the fact that historically Saspu was made stronger by close ties with Sasco we hope that amongst your discussions will be how best to contribute towards the restoration of this critical formation. This is more urgent now than before given the rot that we experience from journalists that have been captured by agendas of the enemies of freedom and democracy. It is your duty comrades to build the new journalist, one that posses progressive conscience towards our people and society, one that will be guided by the search for truth as opposed to sensation, one who will mirror society just as it is and not be tempted to alter reports to distort and mislead the final perception.

Bokamoso wishes you farewell in your conference and awaits anxiously the destiny you will craft for your country and people. Do not be shy and feel that the determination of the destiny for your people and country is a task of greater movements. For as they say “you often meet your destiny on the road you’ve taken to avoid it”.

Long live Sasco Long Live!

Tshilidzi Ratshitanga
Bokamoso Chairperson

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